Sunday, October 25, 2015

National Review

What Democrats Mean by ‘Paying Your Fair Share’
By Thomas Sowell — October 21, 2015

At the recent televised debate among candidates for the Democrats’ nomination for president, Hillary Clinton declared that “the wealthy pay too little” in taxes and “the middle class pays too much.” Some people might wish to argue about whether that is true or not, but no rational argument can be made on either side of this issue, because the words used are completely undefined. Nor is Hillary Clinton the only one who talks this way. It is one of the many signs of the mindlessness of our times that all sorts of people declare that “the rich” are not paying their “fair share” in taxes, without telling us concretely what they mean by either “the rich” or“fair share.”.....

If You’re Recycling,You’re Wasting Your Time
By David French— October 19, 2015

I don’t recycle. I stopped recycling in 2001, when I lived in Ithaca, New York, and recycling was mandatory. We had to throw away our garbage in clear plastic bags so that the recycling police could make sure there was no paper or plastic in the trash, we had to pay for every single bag of trash we thew away (we called it our “garbage fine”), and — when we initially labored in good faith to comply with recycling mandates – we found it was tough to keep our small apartment clean and bug-free while piling empty cans, bottles, and boxes in the corner of our kitchen. So when we found there was a short window of time where we could go to the local landfill and get away with tossing out garbage in opaque, thick Hefty bags, we defied the law and never looked back. Even now— as we live in the free state of Tennessee — when friends come over and ask where we put our recycling, we just say “In the trash” and revel just a tiny bit in our ancient rebellion. But now — thanks to the New York Times, of all publications — I feel vindicated. This month, John Tierney revisited his 1996 critique of recycling, and what he found was fascinating indeed(h/t AEI’s Mark J. Perry):....

'If I Want to MakeChanges, I Have to Infiltrate the System’
By Mark Krikorian — October 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders’ candidacy has had the advantage of outing today’s Democrats as the socialists they are. As Brother Geraghty put it recently, “America Now Has an Openly Socialist Party“. But Sanders isn’t the only socialist who’s migrated to the Democratic party. In my homepage piece on Paul Ryan and my earlier Corner posting I mention Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat congressman from Chicago who is Ryan’s partner in pushing for increased immigration. Little known is that Gutierrez was a member of the now-defunct Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP), a Marxist-Leninist outfitinspired by Castro’s revolution. Here’s the party’s flag:......

If the House Elects Paul Ryan Speaker, It Should Trust Him to Lead
By Jim Talent—October 23, 2015

Paul Ryan is right to run for speaker, and he is doing it the right way. He understands the rules, protocols, and culture of the House, and he has the leadership and communication skills to do the job, if anyone does. Moreover, he is interested—passionate, in fact—about policy, and the effect of policy on real people. This latter point is tremendously important. To be a successful congressional leader, you have to be either (1) invisible to the American people, or (2) associated in their minds with a meaningful agenda rather than with the Congress itself. The American people dislike and distrust Congress as an institution, and always will. If the broad electorate knows that you are the speaker of the House, and that’s all they know about you—if your identity is associated only with an institution they despise—they are not going to like you. Even that part of the electorate that identifies with your party is not going to like you.......

The Amnesty Team of Gutierrez and Ryan
By Mark Krikorian — October 23, 2015

PBS aired a Frontline documentary this week on the 2014 attempt to get an amnesty bill through the House of Representatives. The star was Luis Gutierrez, the most strident amnesty pusher on Capitol Hill, whom the filmmakers followed over the entire course of the year. But the other star was Paul Ryan. The filmmakers wanted to follow him around too but, in the narrator’s words, “Ryan’s office wanted to stay under the radar.” Watch the film and you can see why. The Republican that Gutierrez is most frequently shown conferring with is Mario Diaz-Balart, but Ryan is invoked, in almost every scene, as the GOP driving force behind the amnesty push. The movie starts with Gutierrez praising Ryan for being a good loser:.....

Why Not Abolish the Department of Education?
By Jason Richwine — October 23, 2015

In his appearance last Sunday on Fox News, Donald Trump reiterated that he would abolish all or part of the Education Department. News reports have implied this is another example of Trump’s extremism, but — in this case, at least — it may reflect the good sense of a businessman. As in the private sector, government agencies should be required to justify their existence with hard evidence of their effectiveness, not merely feel-good mission statements. That rarely happens. Instead, the default position held by most politicians is that any government agency that exists should go on existing. We need to reverse that mindset, assuming that no agency will be funded unless it can prove its worth to the taxpayer.

The Intra-Millionaire Inequality Problem
By Kevin D. Williamson — October 23, 2015

I am a longtime fan of Wired, probably my favorite magazine after our own blue-bordered oasis of civilization here and The New Criterion. That being said, its recent “Race, Gender, and Equality in the Digital Age” section is—curmudgeon mode engaged!—a work of almost pristine asininity. Lucky thing that guest editor Serena Williams already has a day job. Wired’s approach is an excellent illustration of the problematic fact that our thought-leading elites are fixated on elite institutions to the point of social blindness. The struggling non-white-male people we meet in the report are: a Morgan Stanley veteran who moved on to Kleiner Perkins, a Bowdoin graduate recently named to a teaching post at Yale, a Boston College graduate and former professional athlete now working as an NFL coach, another professional athlete, a Lehman Bros. veteran and Stanford Graduate School of Business graduate who complains that Silicon Valley isn’t a better place to be a black executive than it was five years ago, a hip-hop artist who is the son of a Chicago school-board member, an engineer whose CV includes stints at Genentech and Merck, and a transgender model in New York whose feelings were hurt when a date broke things off after learning that he wasn’t actually a woman......

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